Published Jun 23, 2015Under the stage name Thundercat, Los Angeles-based Stephen Bruner has had an interesting musical career to date. His brand awareness has spiked thanks to his showing on Kendrick Lamar's masterpiece, To Pimp a Butterfly, and his collaborations with Flying Lotus have been well documented and received. So when this "mini-album" titled The Beyond/Where the Giants Roam was recently announced — his first collection of work since 2013's Apocalypse — ears were perked.
Across six tracks, the project explores jazz-funk, with help from the Brainfeeder fam and Flying Lotus on production — along with the legendary Herbie Hancock on keys for the synth journey that is "Lone Wolf & Cub."
The fact Bruner throws down on the bass is a foregone conclusion; what's equally striking is the musical derring-do and adventurousness on display on this short but sweet offering. "Them Changes" dips into '70s-era soul-funk, "Song for the Dead" veers into dreamy percussive soundscapes and while "Where the Giants Roam/Field of the Nephilim" gets a little too trippy for its own good, "That Moment" hits the sweet spot as far as outer-limit jazz is concerned.
Wherever Thundercat plans to go from here, this EP builds the robust case that one probably should follow. (Brainfeeder)